INTERVIEW: Second Inversion

It was a pleasure reconnecting with Dacia to talk about the five new commissions for FMP 2.0!

“In 2015, Amanda Gookin started a commissioning project called Forward Music Project. It premiered in 2017 at National Sawdust with seven pieces focused on issues that affect women and girls. Two years later, Gookin has returned with Forward Music Project 2.0.

True to its name, the project has taken big leaps forward. It now encompasses five new commissioned works that focus on more specific, personal issues for the composers, from body image to political oppression, sex positivity, and gender nonconformity.”

FEATURE: Beyond Talent Consulting

Angela Myles Beeching included my most recent newsletter in her Beyond Talent Consulting blog! Angela generously provides pro tips to musicians seeking to improve their careers and find their creativity.

“I received a terrific newsletter a couple of weeks ago. It made such a strong impression that I wanted to share it so that together we can look “under the hood.” That way, you can analyze and upgrade your own online communication skills. Here’s musician newsletter know-how with forward-thinking cellist Amanda Gookin.”

FEATURE: National Sawdust Log

Olivia Giovetti writes about Student CoLab: the culmination of a three-month-long young composer workshop in collaboration with Forward Music Project, composer Angélica Negrón, and students from El Puente Beacon Leadership Program!

After a group listen, student composer Amelia Cervantes says that the line “The day that I might be illegal” stuck with her. “It’s not just your experience, but maybe the experience of someone else,” she says of how the line may resonate with the audience.”

New course on Johanna Beyer at Mannes School of Music

I am thrilled to be teaching a new course at Mannes School of Music this Fall 2019 in participation with The New School Centennial Celebration!



Through the complicated life and critical musical lens of fellow Mannes School of Music alumna Johanna Beyer (Composition, ‘28), this course examines the pioneering efforts of composers confronting the difficult Interwar period of American culture in the 1920-30s. Repertoire to include: percussion, vocal, chamber, symphonic, and electronic music by Beyer; her teachers Ruth Crawford Seeger, and Charles Seeger; her student Jessie Baetz; and her relationships with Henry Cowell and John Cage. Students who participate in this course will produce and perform an end of semester concert in celebration of The New School Centennial.

Interview: DC Metro Theater Arts

Amanda answered questions on equality in Classical music and Forward Music Project leading up to her Kennedy Center debut as part of DIRECT CURRENT at the Dupont Underground.

"I dreamt of a project that would allow me to share stories of femininity through music. What better way to spark a meditation on identity politics than in the safety of the cocooned concert experience."

Photo by Anu Dev

Photo by Anu Dev

INTERVIEW: On Tap Magazine

Amanda is interviewed on Forward Music Project leading up to her Kennedy Center debut as part of DIRECT CURRENT at the Dupont Underground.

“Removing the stuffy connotations of classical music, Forward Music Project seeks to make the genre more accessible and use it as a force for good. Commissioning works from all-female composers, Gookin incorporates music, storytelling, chanting, staging effects and projection art to create a stimulating and immersive experience.”


I Care If You Listen review of the Forward Music Project 2.0 Premiere on March 20, 2019.

“Gookin is carving out space for fresh narratives and providing a much needed dose of reality.”

“Met with a thunder of applause from both the orchestra and the balcony, Gookin’s risk-taking was welcomed by an outpouring of support from a rich musical scene, which was a joy to see.”

INTERVIEW: Tulsa Public Radio

It was such a pleasure speaking with Rich Fisher about Forward Music Project on Public Radio Tulsa! I had an amazing time performing two programs featuring FMP 1.0 and 2.0 along with amazing works for cello + electronics by Judith Shatin and Mary Kouyoumdjian and beautiful visuals by S Katy Tucker. Other shout outs on this episode to Allison Loggins-Hull and Morgan Krauss! 

Music featured: “Swerve” by Jessica Meyer and PUBLIQuartet’s classic, “Bird in Paris”

FMP 2.0 mentions in the new yorker

Illustration by Sarah Mazzetti

Illustration by Sarah Mazzetti

Spring Classical-Music Preview
Goings on About Town

"The first edition of the cellist Amanda Gookin’s Forward Music Project took on large-scale issues affecting women and girls, including sex trafficking and child marriage, but the second edition, titled “in this skin,” pivots toward the individual. Five female composers have written new works for cello that channel their deeply personal responses to such concerns as body shaming, street harassment, and women’s rights in Iran, drawing on experimental and multimedia techniques as wide-ranging as the subject matter. Alex Temple’s “Tactile,” a piece about “the erotics of everyday life,” uses ASMR-esque whispers and taps, and Paola Prestini’s “To Tell a Story” manipulates audio from a 1983 interview with Susan Sontag. With its husky sound, Gookin’s cello gives voice to these fights and flights of the soul against projected backdrops designed by S. Katy Tucker."

— Oussama Zahr

INTERVIEW: Sound Mind Podcast

It was super great to spend time talking with my bud, Cameron West, on his thoughtful Sound Mind Podcast!

We spoke about all the things I love: a history of women in music, working with the The Girl Project in Lexington this summer'; this season's Forward Music Project residency at National Sawdust; hitting PUBLIQuartet's crowdfunding goal for our upcoming album, "Freedom and Faith" (to be released Spring 2019!); and awesome new ventures with groups like Nu Deco Ensemble and Shattered Glass!